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Summer Exhibition 2007 - Royal Academy (preview)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE ROYAL Academy of Arts’ annual Summer Exhibition – the world’s largest open submission contemporary show, with a tradition of showcasing work by unknown and established artists side by side – will run from June 11 to August 19, 2007.

Works selected by this year’s co-ordinators, Bill Woodrow RA, Ian Ritchie RA and Paul Huxley RA, will encompass a wide range of artistic disciplines – painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture – all on 2007’s theme of Light.

The Summer Exhibition attracts a very high volume of entrants – around 10,000 in 2006 – and the majority of selected works will be on sale, giving visitors the opportunity to purchase original artwork by high profile or up and coming artists. Last year, for example, Damien Hirst, Richard Wentworth, Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry were among the exhibitors.

As well as a gallery devoted to the theme of Light, there will be another displaying works by invited artists, curated by sculptor and former Turner Prize winner Tony Cragg RA.

The Summer Exhibition also celebrates the work of Royal Academicians who have died in the past year and this year, Kyffin Williams RA and Sandra Blow RA will be remembered in this way.

The Summer Exhibition also presents a series of awards totalling £70,000 in prize money, for artists of exceptional merit. Each prize is donated by commercial and industrial sponsors as well as by generous individuals including Winsor and Newton, The Architects Journal and Jack Goldhill.

Established in 1978, the RA Charles Wollaston Award is, at £25,000, one of the largest and most prestigious art prizes in Britain. Previous winners include Jake and Dinos Chapman (2003), Alan Charlton (2002), Marc Quinn (2001), Gerard Hemsworth (2000), David Hockney (1999), John Hoyland (1998) and RB Kitaj (1997).

Following last year’s success, the BBC will be making three one-hour programmes about the Summer Exhibition, again with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen at the helm, which will screened on BBC 2 over three days in June.

Tickets: £7 – full price; £6 – 60+ years and Registered Disabled; £5 – NUS/ISIC cardholders; £3 – 12 to 18 years and Income Support; £2 – 8 to 11 years; free – 7 years and under; £16 – family ticket.

The admission price includes the List of Works giving details on every exhibit in the show.

For more information call 0870 848 8484 or visit the website.